I did something today that I’ve done on countless Saturday mornings: I got up, left my sweet sleeping husband in our warm, comfortable bed, made my breakfast, drank a cup of coffee, kissed my kids and went for a run.
Today was different. Different than any other day I’ve ever ran. Today I ran for someone other than myself.
Today I ran for Meg Cross Menzies, to honor her, remember her and to be thankful. I ran to honor her beautiful spirit, remember her and her family & friends, and I ran, feeling thankful that I’ve been blessed with another day on this earth, and thankful that I can run.
Last night I printed by race bib, and I put my age as my racer number. It was on purpose. I also printed a bib for one of my best running friends and we proudly wore them on our journey up and back on Terwilliger on an uncharacteristically frosty clear morning.
There wasn’t anything easy about running today, it was cold, my body ached, as it has nearly every day since being diagnosed with arthritis, and it was early.
My friend picked me up at 7AM and we drove through very thick, dense fog. It hung in the air like an insult that everyone hears and no one wants to acknowledge.
On the drive we chatted about our kids, school, food, all the normal mother runner stuff. Things I am sure Meg would have talked about with her best running friends.
As we made our way through the tunnel into downtown we soon found ourselves staring at a canvas of blue, with pink clouds sprinkled like confetti in the early morning sky.
This was my second run up Terwilliger, and her first. Bibs pinned, laces tightened, thirsts quenched we headed out on Duniway track to make the 7 mile out and back run to honor a fallen mother runner.
Between the two of us we logged a perfect 14.0 miles for Meg. I posted our run on Facebook and Instagram, I added our miles to the google form and I added our run to the map. Please, take a look at the map. Start in Portland, and slowly zoom out.
Our 14 miles were a teeny tiny part of a worldwide running community that got out there today in remembrance of someone many of never knew. But, deep down below the surface, in that fire that burns in every runner, every competitor, in all of us, we know her. We are her.
Running for Meg today was an honor and a privilege, but it can’t end today. What happened to Meg can happen to any one of us. After today we bear the responsibility of being even more diligent, safety conscious and smart.
Run with friends, take nothing for granted in your surroundings, wear reflective clothing in the dark, be visible on your bike, always assume that you cannot be seen and do everything you can to be visible. No matter what.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Meg is smiling down on us all, not just me and my running buddy, but all of us who laced up and ran in remembrance, which included hundreds upon hundreds of posts from marathoners to people running for the very first time today.
Do yourself a favor and read those posts on the Meg’s Miles Facebook page. There isn’t a running soul out there that can’t draw inspiration from everyone who biked, walked and ran today for Meg.
Read the posts, hug your loved ones and be thankful. Thankful for the gift of life, legs that move, feet that fly and the wind at your back. And tomorrow, do it all over again.